If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try, Try Again

Breaking Through Fear: Overcoming Barriers to Success

At a recent TedxTeen in NYC, Chelsea Clinton talked about the importance of trying. “There’s a lot of pressure to be first,” she said. “The first to break a record, invent something new. And we’re grateful for that pressure. It makes life more interesting! But the impact of innovation is when other people pay attention… I think we need to have the courage to be second, to be eager to be second.”

As kids, we’re willing to try new things- sports, styles, different types of music and art. Teachers are exposing students to many ways of solving problems- and kids can test and learn to see which approach works best. At my sons’ high school, there are a higher number of kids trying out for sports that they have never played before. Would you consider raising your hand for a job that you have no experience? As we age, we lose our sense of curiosity and willingness to try new things. Fear creeps in, and we put our hand down.

Don’t let Fear Get the Best of You.

Fear is the root of so many barriers. Fear of failure. Fear of getting hurt. Fear of looking foolish. Fear of not succeeding.

How do you overcome fear? Look inward, center yourself, and focus your energy on a goal. Sometimes it helps to think out worse case scenarios and rationalize how you can accept/deal with them. (It’s like the little angel and devil are arguing on my shoulders!) Adopting a child-like attitude allows you to take risks, push the boundaries away, and TRY things you might never try.

Smart companies understand that they need to focus on creating an innovative, collaborative culture to be successful in today’s competitive, demanding environment. Encouraging employees to pilot ideas, take calculated risks and think outside the box to solve problems will re-energize your teams. Create a culture where mistakes are part of the process and trying is rewarded.

The hardest struggle a man can overcome is that which guarantees success through failure. Do you feel its “safe” to make mistakes in your company? I look forward to your comments.

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Lisa Bonner

Lisa Bonner is an experienced change agent and Senior Vice President with Roberts Golden Consulting. She helps global Fortune 500 companies solve organizational issues and manage major changes to drive achievement of bold business objectives. Lisa is passionate about football, fitness, decorating and raising twin boys. Connect with Lisa.


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